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Old 04-04-2013, 02:19 AM   #1
BadDeacon
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Default First mead

Ok, I am kicking off my first mead tonight. Going really basic. Fall Honey from a friend. It smells like hay and hardwoods. I am hoping it will keep a hint of this. Just one gallon. Gonna kick it off with 1 tsp nutrient. Yeast is EC-1118. Never used it before. Might add berries into secondary when I do a strawberry blonde in a month.

Anything I am missing?

Thanks!

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Old 04-04-2013, 02:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadDeacon
Ok, I am kicking off my first mead tonight. Going really basic. Fall Honey from a friend. It smells like hay and hardwoods. I am hoping it will keep a hint of this. Just one gallon. Gonna kick it off with 1 tsp nutrient. Yeast is EC-1118. Never used it before. Might add berries into secondary when I do a strawberry blonde in a month.

Anything I am missing?

Thanks!
You might try a less energetic yeast. If the honey has subtle smells you want to keep it will be more likely to do so with a gentler yeast
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:35 AM   #3
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To be honest... It's kinda overwhelming right now. But I think it will give it a good raw "unprocessed" vibe if it holds on to it. Just took gravity reading 1.18. Is that too high? I think the yeast goes up to 18% but my rough calc shows about 22% abv if it ferments all the way out.

Thinking about splitting the batch in secondary. One lemon and the other strawberry.

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Old 04-04-2013, 12:02 PM   #4
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To be honest... It's kinda overwhelming right now. But I think it will give it a good raw "unprocessed" vibe if it holds on to it. Just took gravity reading 1.18. Is that too high? I think the yeast goes up to 18% but my rough calc shows about 22% abv if it ferments all the way out.

Thinking about splitting the batch in secondary. One lemon and the other strawberry.
18% is equal to 133 point drop so nearly 50 points of residual sugar is gonna be sweet as hell.

No the yeast won't do an extra 4% and yes 1.180 is too high....
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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You'll probably want to mix all of that with an equal amount of water and then restart fermentation with another less strong yeast. That'll bring your 18 percent to nine percent abv. You'll probably want to rehydrate your yeast first though, so that it doesn't struggle as much in the 9 percent abv. Once fermentation chills, see where you are with residual sugar. You can always back sweeten. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on all of this.

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Old 04-04-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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You'll probably want to mix all of that with an equal amount of water and then restart fermentation with another less strong yeast. That'll bring your 18 percent to nine percent abv. You'll probably want to rehydrate your yeast first though, so that it doesn't struggle as much in the 9 percent abv. Once fermentation chills, see where you are with residual sugar. You can always back sweeten. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on all of this.
The initial smell died down over night and I have already pitched the yeast and am scared of over pitching. So, I'm gonna let it get rolling then divide it before it hits the 18% wall.

I think what I will do is let fermentation get going then go ahead and split the batch. I know this is not "normal" procedure, but this is kinda an experiment for me. The honey is from the fall and it is really strong and dark and not the typical flower honey most folks work with. SWMBO likes sweet wines etc... and I kinda like the idea of having the higher content in there for a cold sipping wine later in the summer. I made a basic cider that shot up to 8.5% that she loves anyways.

Has anyone used Lemon Juice from a bottle in a mead??? or should I just slice one up and dump into secondary?
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #7
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The initial smell died down over night and I have already pitched the yeast and am scared of over pitching. So, I'm gonna let it get rolling then divide it before it hits the 18% wall.

I think what I will do is let fermentation get going then go ahead and split the batch. I know this is not "normal" procedure, but this is kinda an experiment for me. The honey is from the fall and it is really strong and dark and not the typical flower honey most folks work with. SWMBO likes sweet wines etc... and I kinda like the idea of having the higher content in there for a cold sipping wine later in the summer. I made a basic cider that shot up to 8.5% that she loves anyways.

Has anyone used Lemon Juice from a bottle in a mead??? or should I just slice one up and dump into secondary?
So the main reason to take say 20 to 25% of the must out and replacing it with water to dilute it down some is to remove the possibility of stressing the yeast with osmotic shock etc. Plus the swings of pH etc are reduced.

You can then add some if it back in when the gravity drops half or two thirds. This will still give some residual sugar just not as much but with more mead. Oh and if you're fermenting in a carboy a bucket might be better.....
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadDeacon

The initial smell died down over night and I have already pitched the yeast and am scared of over pitching. So, I'm gonna let it get rolling then divide it before it hits the 18% wall.

I think what I will do is let fermentation get going then go ahead and split the batch. I know this is not "normal" procedure, but this is kinda an experiment for me. The honey is from the fall and it is really strong and dark and not the typical flower honey most folks work with. SWMBO likes sweet wines etc... and I kinda like the idea of having the higher content in there for a cold sipping wine later in the summer. I made a basic cider that shot up to 8.5% that she loves anyways.

Has anyone used Lemon Juice from a bottle in a mead??? or should I just slice one up and dump into secondary?
Real lemon juice and the zest from the lemon will probably be the best option. It also helps the mead clear up (semi-myth). Just add it to the secondary.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:33 PM   #9
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I think you should seriously consider diluting with some water. Fatbloke is right on the yeast stress that can throw off flavors. Beyond that, a FG of 1.050 is going to be almost syrupy. We're not talking full bodied, we're talking pour the stuff over pancakes.

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Old 04-04-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
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10-4! I had not thought about the stress aspect. I have only been brewing since November and am still learning a lot.

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